US Hospital Germany

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by TABBER, Aug 14, 2006.

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  1. Evening all.

    I may be ending up in a US tri-service hospital in Germany for an operation (proper surgery) and recovery which will be about 6 months long - dont ask

    Can anyone tell me where 'the biggest yank hospital in Germany' is and what it is like down there, well equiped? nurses everywhere? good on the piss? Is it the main hospital for US army europe, who runs it, joint civilian? on a base?

    Cheers for any advice
  2. You can rest assured that, like most American hospitals, it will be superbly equipped and very fully staffed. Food is likely to be substantial, and general standards of cleanliness, hygiene/ infection control high. You'll probably to be in a double room, or maybe a "ward" of four patients, but each in his/ her own "bay". You may even get a single room. Very few American hospitals retain the traditional large "Nightingale" wards so common in the good old N.H.S. - bad for infection control, privacy etc., and, generally, they don't do "mixed"(i.e. male/ female) wards. In short, to Brit eyes, it will probably seem quite luxurious - after all, they spend about three times more per head on health care than we do, and you get what you pay for!

    As a military facility, security will probably be very tight - the Yanks are big on "perimeter security" at the best of times, and in the current climate...! Most personnel will be military, but there are also likely to be significant numbers of German civilians employed in various capacities, including some doctors, nurses, physios etc.. Assuming you're not footing the bill for treatment (?!) - lie back & enjoy; you couldn't be in better hands.

    Info point: you may notice that some doctors have D.O. rather than M.D. after their names. D.O. stands for "Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine" - in America an alternative philosophy of medicine that has its origins on the Frontier in the C19th. D.O.s are fully qualified doctors; licenced to prescribe drugs, perform surgery etc in all 50 states.
    Entry requirements, training standards etc for osteopathic medical schools (there are 19 in the States) are the same as for "allopathic" (ie traditional) med schools, and like their M.D. colleagues, D.O.s have to pass demanding licencing exams ("COMLEX" - Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licencing Exam; very similar to the "USMLE" - United States Medical Licencing Exam - taken by M.D.s. In fact, many D.O.s do both!), and complete the requisite post-grad training (internships & residencies etc) before being allowed to practise in their chosen specialties.
    In truth, these days there are not really any significant differences between the two - D.O.s having fully embraced hi-tech medicine, and M.D.s having become more "holistic"/ whole patient centred in their approach.

    About 8% of American doctors are D.O.s. They tend to work in rural and impoverished areas, esp inner cities, and quite a lot of them serve in the U.S. armed forces. They tend to concentrate in "primary care" specialties (esp family medicine, emergency medicine/ trauma, obs & gyn), but they pop up in all areas - notably, and this may be relevant to you (?), in orthopaedic & general surgery.

    Cautionary note: Yanks tend to be rather stern and less forbearing than us re booze, smoking etc (esp in/ around hospitals! ), so don't expect doctors to sigh resignedly & turn a blind eye if you're seen hanging out the bog window for a crafty smoke! Also, be mindful of the fact that, in general, Americans are more formally religious than us, and - to Brits - they can often seem quite prudish re bodily matters. So, beware "profanity", taking the Lord's name in vain etc, and don't wander around the ward/ corridors with too much "flesh" exposed! They also tend, despite popular impressions to the contrary, to be more formally polite/ courteous in their everyday dealings with one another than we are. Need to be "culturally sensitive" and all that!

    Best wishes,